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Thread: my bike smells like a cookout

  1. #1
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    Thumbs down my bike smells like a cookout

    For the last several rides my bike smells like I'm grilling hot dogs. It's spring and on a couple of rides as I came to a stop light I assumed there was a cook out nearby and it made me hungry. I'm slow but after a few rides I realized it's from my bike. I started looking for melting clothes, hot wires, a dead bird on the engine etc. I can't find anything hot. I'm starting to think it might be the smell of the exhaust! Any ideas?

    I recently tried some octane fuel additive to resolve a mild pinging at full throttle that the bike has always had. It did improve the pinging. I used it for about two tanks but the current tank has no additive. Could I have done some damage to something with the additive? Any other thoughts?

  2. #2
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    Look for road tar or drained trans oil on top of the catalytic converter, and if you have them, check the shark fins near the headers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pauls1150 View Post
    Look for road tar or drained trans oil on top of the catalytic converter, and if you have them, check the shark fins near the headers.
    Thanks Paul. I'll check today. I forgot to mention the bike is a R1150GS.

  4. #4
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    Look for a squirrel on top of the catalytic converter...

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    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Bugs on cylinders. Grasshoppers especially.
    Kent Christensen
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    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

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    I looked over the catalytic converter, cylinder heads ... and don't see anything hiding there. I did however wash the bike recently and squirt water from the back side of the oil cooler radiator thinking it might dislodge some bugs stuck in there. I wonder if I loosened something that could cause the stink. It seems like it would dry up and disappear after three or four rides.

  7. #7
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    Mmmm, hoppers...

    Just a WAG, and I really don't know what it would smell like, but maybe the innards of the catalytic converter are failing? I've heard (but can't confirm) they can put out a strange smell, anybody know what this smells like?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pauls1150 View Post
    Mmmm, hoppers...

    Just a WAG, and I really don't know what it would smell like, but maybe the innards of the catalytic converter are failing?
    When I recently used the fuel additive I didn't measure... just approximated and poured in part of a bottle. Any chance that could damage the converter?

    On the other hand I kind of think the smell comes from the front. I've noticed when I slow down I smell it very quickly. If it was from the exhaust I think it might take a moment or two to collect in the air at a stop.

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    Cicadas coming out early?
    2000 R1100RT / 1987 K75C (RIP) / Santa Clarita, CA

  10. #10
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    I'd think that any "additive" sold today would be requred to be compatible with cats.

    I have neighbor who foolishly ran out of gas halfway between No and Where... no stations around, but he was able to buy many bottles of several different additives. Poured 'em in & got to a gas station, no harm (yet...). I never asked about the smell...

    I'd advise against a lot of "Heet", tho - too much alcohol.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by paddlermikem View Post
    On the other hand I kind of think the smell comes from the front. I've noticed when I slow down I smell it very quickly.
    You obviously have a chicken stuck in your oil cooler. I hope you got the rotisserie option when you bought the bike. Yes, I know, no help whatsoever but what were you expecting after three days of no answers? Your bike smells like a BBQ - its a great conversation starter.

  12. #12
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    Not the whole chicken, just nuggets...

    Another possibility: the slave cylinder to the clutch is starting to weep, and the fluid just hasn't made it to the outside world yet. How's the level up in the master cylinder?

    Have you pulled the tank? A very close scrutinizing of ALL wiring would be in order. Get yer nose right in there.
    Last edited by Pauls1150; 06-07-2013 at 03:26 PM.

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    Happily Bent dieselyoda's Avatar
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    Cooked Cat................Doesn't smell like Poutine

    I'm not sure what you are describing as your stink and you have had a whole pile of experts way in. A catalytic convertor that has suffered media separation, whether it be Palladium or Platinum, in some, Silver and good old fashioned Pewter is usually caused by a severe overheat and quick cool soak, usually in the winter, will smell like rotten eggs. That smell may disappear after a few cycles providing the phenolic matrix or honey comb hasn't blown apart. If you had a very high EGR cycle, which I don't think your bike has, could cause the rotten egg smell. The usual mode to failure in that circumstance is usually started with complaint of stalling after high throttle inputs and sudden throttle demand to idle.

    Of course, everything you read on this forum must be true because it's on the club blog.

    Yours could be the same as mine, that happens every year at the same time, without fail, regardless of the ride............calcium chloride from the leftover de-ice on our roads during the winter. Washing the crap off every day and making your ride shiny and new every day, just makes you a grumpy fart when you get home and have to do it all over again.
    1997 R1100RT (Restored Basket Case) , 1981 KZ 440 LTD (Restored Basket Case)
    1986 K75S(the beutch), 1993 K1100RS (blown engine), 1997 Chev Short Box (4x4 with an LT1)
    "You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him."

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    In answer to your question.......

    I think the word you are looking for is FARTS...................(just a thought)

    Quote Originally Posted by Pauls1150 View Post
    Mmmm, hoppers...

    Just a WAG, and I really don't know what it would smell like, but maybe the innards of the catalytic converter are failing? I've heard (but can't confirm) they can put out a strange smell, anybody know what this smells like?

  15. #15
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    Oh no... this will clear it up

    OK bigger problems. This doesn't clear it up for me but I'm sure someone will know the problem. I had it out the other day and got to a passing lane on a hill. When I opened it up to get around a slow vehicle I started a trail of white smoke. I think it was mostly white. I got to the top of the hill and pulled over. I intended to get off the bike and look closer at the smoke but there was so much I was afraid for a second that whatever was causing the smell had heated up and caught fire. Not so, as soon as I shut it off the smoke stopped.

    I headed back down the hill and on the few miles toward home. Surprisingly there was no smoke. Just to test it I opened it up for a second one more time on a hill just long enough to see the smoke start again.

    I'm swamped at work so now it sits in the garage. My novice mind assumes the head gasket but a friend suggested that since it is oil cooled it should have made a black smoke. I'm also wondering how it could relate to the smell. One of you probably knows...?

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